Hyderabad, Jan 11: Over 100 Forest Department officials and animal trackers continued their search for the three tigers that went missing after consuming poisoned a carcass of cattle in the forests of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district of Telangana.
For the second consecutive day, eight teams comprising 120 officials and animal trackers continued their search, which was prompted by the death of two tigers including one due to suspected poisoning three days ago.
The teams were combing a radius of five km in the forests of Dharegaon village in Kagaznagar mandal, especially around the water bodies as experts say that in case of poisoning, a tiger rushes to the nearest water body.
Led by District Forest Officer Neeraj Kumar Tibrewal, the teams scanned the forest since early morning.
Officials were reviewing video footage from 30 trap cameras and searching for tiger pug marks to track their presence and movements.
In a gap of three days, a one and half year old female cub named S15 and a six-year-old male tiger called S9 were found dead in the forests of Dharegaon village on January 6 and 8, respectively.
The cause of the death of the second tiger was suspected to be poisoning.
Caracas of a male tiger aged about years was found on January 8 near the local stream and a loosened snare around the neck was also found.
The team appointed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), on initial investigations and observations, found this to be a suspected case of poisoning. The site was also inspected by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) R.M. Dobriyal, who is the head of forest force and PCCF M.C. Pargain, who is Chief Wildlife Warden. The forest department launched a search after CCTV footage retrieved later revealed that two cubs and an adult tiger consumed the meat of the carcass of the cattle killed by the tigers on December 30 or 31.
According to forest officials, a tigress named S6, and the tiger, S9, had given birth to four cubs named S15, S16, S17 and 18 about 18 months ago.
Of them S15 and S9 were found dead in a span of three days, triggering fears about the safety of other tigers in the forest which is part of Kawal Tiger Reserve.
After the carcass of S15 was found on January 6, the forest officials had attributed the death to 'territorial fight' among tigers.
They found pug marks of two tigers on the spot. They believe that the two tigers fought 5-6 days ago, which resulted in the death of one of them.
Meanwhile, forest officials have reportedly detained four villagers who were suspected to have poisoned a cattle kill which resulted in the death of a tiger.
They were taken to the spot where the tiger was found dead. The officials questioned them.
They allegedly sprinkled some weedicide on the carcass of the cattle to kill tigers. (IANS)